Record catering equipment recruitment bodes well for the sector

Alex-Waring crop
Cavendish Maine's Alexandra Waring sees a positive future for catering equipment sector recruitment.

Alexandra Waring, partner at recruitment specialist Cavendish Maine, reviews the state of the industry’s job market, looking back at the progress in 2016 and what’s ahead for this year:

2016 was a record year for recruitment in the catering equipment industry and one that saw Cavendish Maine managing a constant flow of high activity across the sector.

Brexit had very little impact on the rate and urgency of the vacancies that we took on over the year. Whilst it posed certain challenges for some businesses (in particular those importing product) it has not had the negative impact that many worried it would. In fact, we are now hearing many more positive views moving forward as businesses seize the opportunities that a freer market could create although we appreciate that it will also bring some uncertainty.

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We saw a high level of sales and marketing positions with a high proportion of national and senior level appointments as well as regional and territory sales, with an even split across light equipment/tableware and heavy equipment suppliers. As this represents our core business, these roles, whilst very welcome, were not unusual. However we also increased our activities across further business areas including: purchasing, service/aftermarket management, supply chain, technical service/helpdesk, operations and international (sales and technical support).

There was a noticeable surge in activity from businesses providing technical service, support and maintenance; this area of the industry continues to become more competitive with new entrants to the market prompting existing businesses to respond by strengthening their own offering and developing leaner, more efficient business models.

2017 looks set to continue in a similar vein with many assignments already booked and underway for the coming months. We expect to see continued activity in senior appointments, regional and national account sales roles and continued growth in service and maintenance businesses, and we are also seeing uplift in roles with an international focus.

The start of a new year is a popular time to consider employment options. This represents an excellent opportunity for potential employers who are able to attract the attention of normally ‘off limits’ candidates, i.e. those who are happy where they are and would not generally consider a move, but are entering the new year with a more open mind to ‘looking around’. These candidates will tend to be less open to new roles later in the year once they settle back in to the routine of their job and their schedule for the year ahead fills up.

The majority of candidates we work with are not actively looking for a new job, but trust us with their details and are receptive to hearing from us.

With over two decades of recruitment experience dedicated to this sector, combined with continuous networking at trade shows and events, and regular meetings with clients and candidates we have built enduring professional relationships with a vast network.

Our knowledge and experience in this sector also means that we have an excellent insight of which backgrounds from other product types or markets will translate well in to this industry. Our sector specialism does not limit our shortlists to sector-candidates only; in fact increasingly our clients are keen to see candidates from other sectors as a comparison and often find that they can bring best practice and a fresh approach.

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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